The Document Butler – The Meaning of Document Management

The “Value-Add” in Document Management goes well beyond storage and backup.  Steve Best, in an article in Law Practice Today (“Document Management: Finding it in the Cloud“) captures the essence of what distinguishes a document management system from mere cloud storage when he uses the term, “The Document Butler”.

I can picture The Butler scurrying around to make sure everything is in its proper place.  I can envision the document appearing by “automagically” as my fingers reach for it, courtesy of my butler.  It is always the RIGHT document that I need at the exact moment I reach for it.  And more importantly, when I am finished with the document, it automagically gets filed in the right place where others can find it.

So what is this Butler worth to you?  Is it worth $38/month to have him (or her) at your beck and call 24 hours a day?  That rate is equivalent to 1/10 of an hour of an attorney’s time a month or 1/3 of an hour of a paralegal’s time.  Just on document search and retrieval, many multiples of that amount are wasted each month.

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NetDocuments and Summer Adventures

On Monday we leave for Tel Aviv (that’s in Israel) for the month of August.  And just last week I returned from 2 days of NetDocuments certification training in Provo, Utah.  I had intended to do a detailed writeup of the class; and even intended to study for my certification exam.  However, I am too busy.  No sooner did I leave the training than 3 opportunities landed on my lap (Cloud-based law firms and law departments) that were crying out for NetDocuments.

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Documents in the Clouds

I spend a large amount of time and money each year worrying about “backing up” my data files.  Years ago, I decided to centralize all my files on a File Server.  A peer-to-peer network was good for distributing processing, but a disaster when you are like me, working on multiple PC’s. I do that so that I can test software on different environments.  Once I decided on a central file server (realize the decision was not rocket science), the issue came on appropriate backup routines.  I tried tape cartridges, but most were too slow and too small.  I currently am working with a RAID-V server array, removable hard-drive backup, combined with MozyPro.  The system works, but is not ideal. The hard-drive backups are not swapped often enough; MozyPro took forever to get all my data, and afterwords, is quite slow on the restores.  And so, I am now looking into a “cloud” solution, in particular NetDocuments.

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